Chapter One

"I have to admit," started NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, staring down at the petite blonde in front of him. She cocked her head, staring up at him anxiously. "You're not my normal type,"

"And that is?" Jess Warner whispered, leaning against the door to her apartment, 6C. Jethro smiled and brought a hand to a stand of her hair, holding it.

"Redheads," he admitted. Jess smiled, shaking her head. "What?"

"For a split second, I thought you were going to tell me men were your kind," She laughed, reaching into her bag to pull out her keys. Jethro laughed, but he wasn't sure what he should be laughing at.

"No, no, definitely not," He said, shoving his hands in his pockets. Jess looked up at Jethro.

"Is this where I invite you in?" Jess smiled seductively.

"No, no," Jethro said, but soon realized he had spoken too soon. "I have to be up at zero five hundred," Jethro said as Jess unlocked her door. She looked over at him, face showing obvious confusion. "Five A.M,"

"Couldn't you have just said that? I'm studying to be a scientist, not a marine," Jess said with a smile. "Though I think I would look damn good in that uniform," She pushed open her door and stared at Jethro. "So assuming that you don't have a case to work on in the next seventy two to ninety six hours, would you like to go to dinner on Saturday?"

"I would love that," Jethro said, leaning down to place a simple, small kiss on her lips. "Good night Jess,"

"Good night, Jethro," she whispered, leaning up to give him her own kiss. She slid into her apartment, smiling as she stood against her door.

Jess stepped out of her bedroom, running a hand through her hair. She sat on her couch, turning on the T.V. Agent Fornell was on the eleven o'clock news, talking about a case that Jethro and NCIS had solved but he was talking all the credit for.

"Pompous asshole," Jess mumbled out loud, opening the book, the words running together. She threw the books across the couch, laying her head on the arm. She couldn't get her mind off of Jethro. She felt strange; Jethro was sixteen years her senior, definitely not her normal type. Jess looked over at her house phone, clenching her fists and cracking her knuckles before pouncing on the phone. It rang four times before going to voicemail.

"Hey, Jethro. It's me… me meaning Jess… I don't really know why I'm calling… I just… don't like being away from you… um call me when you get this… bye…" Jess threw her phone over with her book at the other end of the couch. She tapped her fingers on her knee, looking around her apartment and then looked to her T.V.

Jess looked back at her door, frowning. She could have sworn she heard what sounded like her door being opened or at least an attempt at her door being opened.

Jess sighed and stood up, laughing at her paranoia. She went to her kitchen and started pouring herself a cup of cold coffee. She placed it in the microwave and tapped her fingers again. The microwave beeped and Jess pulled out the cup, running a hand through her hair as she waited for it to cool.

The sound of the doorknob jiggling made Jess look at her door. Knowing now this wasn't her paranoia, she walked to her door to look through the peephole. She saw someone trying to pick her lock. Panicking, Jess secured the chain and ran to her bedroom. At that moment, the phone started to ring and her front door opened.

"Help me!" She yelled into the phone as soon as she picked up the phone.

"Jess what's wrong?" Asked Jethro.

"Someone broke in my house!" Jess yelled.

"I'll be right there, don't move Jess,"

"Ms. Warner?" Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo started. Jess looked up, Jethro's jacket falling off her arms, Jethro promptly sliding it back up.

"It's Jess. Ms. Warner is my unmarried 45 year old sister,"

"Jess… can you run through your night for me?" Agent DiNozzo asked. He looked over at Gibbs, not sure he was doing this the way Gibbs wanted him to.

"Um I was in… my school's lab until 7:30… my professor can vouch for that… and then my boyfriend came to get me…"

"Name?" DiNozzo asked. Jess and Jethro looked up at him strangely. "Just a formality"

"NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs. If you would like to question him, he's sitting right next to me,"

"Where did you two go?"

"Miguelos… it's this genius Italian restaurant… it's my favorite and I had a big test today so Jethro took me out to celebrate… anyway… we left about nine, nine thirty. The concierge should confirm that. Marge. Jethro dropped me off at my apartment at about 10:15 ish… I took a short bath…"

"Can anyone clarify that?" Jethro stood up, staring at DiNozzo.

"I was referring to the time you dropped her off, boss," DiNozzo said, but Jethro continued to stare.

"Jethro?" Jess whispered, causing him to look down. She had her hand held out; Jethro took it and sat next to her.

"I came back to my living room and turned on TV… it was a little after eleven… Agent Fornell was on the news… I tried reading but couldn't concentrate… so I called Jethro… hoping for some company… but he didn't answer. After that I had though I heard my door being opened…"

"Did you check it out?"

"No I saw nothing at my door or any signs so I ignored it and went for a drink… Then I heard it again so I looked in my peephole and I saw that someone was trying to pick my lock so I secured my door with the chain and ran to my room"

"But you didn't call the cops?"

"No sir, at the moment Jethro returned my phone call"

"And you told him?"

"Yes and he came right over. My intruder was gone… apartment ransacked… I don't why anyone would have gone through my apartment… I'm a science major wanting to be a forensic scientist,"

"You are also seeing an NCIS Special Agent?" DiNozzo said, nodding towards Gibbs.

"You think someone is trying to get to Jethro though me?" asked Jess, frowning.

"Why not? Unless you have something to admit to?" DiNozzo asked. Gibbs shot up, yet again.

"Jethro," Jess said, standing to grab his arm. Jethro looked down at her. "I'm scared," she whispered. Jethro nodded and pulled her to him.

"Nothing will happen to you, Jess," He whispered, rubbing her back.

"Tony," Officer David said, handing him a piece of paper.

"O…Oh… Gibbs it's addressed to you," Tony handed it to Gibbs.

You can't protect your little girlfriend forever Agent Gibbs. Protect her; I'll get to her soon.

"Oh god," Jess said, her face paler then normal.

"You're staying with me until we catch this son of a bitch," Jethro said.